The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is pleased its calls for greater investment in developing and enhancing nurse leadership skills has been answered in last night’s Federal Budget.
The Budget contained a $1 million matching co-contribution to ACN for the establishment of 21 scholarships focusing on supporting nurses seeking to further their professional development in leadership.
“I welcome the Government’s recognition that an investment in nurse leadership is an investment in shaping the health of all Australians,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.
“Recipients will be known as the Bullwinkel Scholars in honour of the bravery and courage shown by the 21 Australian nurses who lost their lives in the Bangka Island Massacre 80 years ago. The funding will ensure their legacy lives on not only in the next generation of nurse leaders, but also in the collective memory of our nation.
“As a nurse myself, I understand the challenges my colleagues face when it comes to finding the time and money to invest in education. These scholarships will be pivotal in providing nurses with the financial support and time to upskill their leadership capabilities to ensure our profession continues to lead the way in providing expert care to those who need it most.”
Adjunct Professor Ward also outlined ACN’s support for a number of other measures in the budget including those targeted at education and women.
“I acknowledge the Government’s recognition of the success of the Aged Care Transition to Practice program, of which ACN is one of the main providers, in the Budget,” she said.
We are also looking forward to seeing the rollout of the proposed investment into the training of Registered Nurses in residential aged care facilities to become Authorised Nurse Immunisers and welcome the additional funding for the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme which ACN has proudly administered for the last 20 years.”
“As a predominately female profession, we support the strong focus on eliminating gender-based violence and funding of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children. ACN and I will continue to strongly advocate to eradicate all forms of violence through the work of our Nurses and Violence Taskforce.”
However, Adjunct Professor Ward pointed toward the failure of the Government to invest in advanced practice nurses as a key failing of the Budget.
“I am disappointed to once again see advanced practice nurses neglected from the decision-making table,” she said.
“As ACN outlined in our pre-budget submission, this group of highly educated professionals are crucial to addressing the complex health needs of our most underserviced populations, including those living in rural and remote areas. However, the refusal of Governments to increase their numbers and scope of practice sadly means many barriers to equitable health care remain in place.”